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Portrait of the Artists

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San Francisco’s Two Gallants record for Saddle Creek, the same label Bright Eyes calls home. And like Conor Oberst’s revolving group, Adam Stephens and Tyson Vogel make music that loves to play around with words. Little surprise, since the duo took its name from a typically wordy James Joyce story. On their third album, Two Gallants (which came out last week), Stephens and Vogel blend harmonica-heavy folk pop with lo-fi indie rock. But good luck spotting references to an incident last year in which Vogel spent some time in the pokey after an overzealous cop Tasered a bunch of folks, including Stephens, at a Gallants show. (The charges were later dropped.) The group’s labyrinthine lyrics -- “Oh, the razor in your apple, the affection of your glove” begins one song -- are more Dylanesque than revelatory. Still, this is the band’s most coherent CD -- a tightly played, sharply written slice of alt-rock that nods to poets (in the traditional and musical sense) past.
Sun., Sept. 30, 9 p.m., 2007

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